Over the past 50 years, the Children’s Oncology Group research is responsible for greatly improving overall 5-year survival rate of childhood cancer. The Children’s Oncology Group’s ultimate goal is to find a cure for all pediatric cancers and to improve survivor outcomes by reducing short- and long-term complications of treatment. In addition to treatment clinical trials, the Children’s Oncology Group also has trials to help researchers understand the causes and biology of different cancers in hopes of learning the best ways to treat patients and prevent cancer in the future.

As a department, we screen every patient with a new or relapsed cancer diagnosis for any open clinical trials at the Children’s Oncology Group. Once the research team confirms a patient’s eligibility, the patient and family are approached for an open and thorough discussion on clinical trial participation. Enrollment is completely voluntary.

If a patient and/or family chooses to participate in a clinical trial they are followed closely by their treating medical team, as well the research team, for the duration of therapy. The research team is always available to help educate and assist families throughout treatment on the clinical trial.

However, should the patient and their family elect not to participate in a clinical trial, our expert team of physicians and nurses continue to provide the best available therapy in a compassionate family-centered manner. Our mission is to “treat children and cure cancer.”

Participation in a clinical trial at Columbia University Medical Center does not necessarily mean extra visits or tests. Most of the research conducted is compatible with and coincides with the current standard of care for cancer treatment. The integrity of the patient’s medical care is always our primary concern; in addition, we strictly adhere to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability Accountability ACT) guidelines to protect patient and family privacy.

If a treating physician feels that participation in a clinical trial is no longer in the patient’s best interest, the patient is removed from protocol therapy with the knowledge and consent of the family. Subsequent therapy will be determined after consultation with all involved parties and members of the healthcare team.

Division faculty hold leadership positions within COG, thus our center contributes to the science of COG, rather than just enrolling patients onto clinical Trials. Among our faculty, significant leadership roles are held by

  • Julia Glade-Bender (Developmental Therapeutics, Bone Sarcoma, Neuroblastoma)
  • Elena Ladas (Cancer Control and Supportive Care)
  • Alice Lee (Institution Principal Investigator, Developmental Therapeutics)
  • Jennifer Levine (Survivorship)
  • Manuela Orjuela (Non Hodgkin Lymphoma, Retinoblastoma, Epidemiology, Minority Affairs)
  • Stephen Sands (Behavioral Sciences, CNS Tumors)
  • Prakash Satwani (Hodgkin Lymphoma)
  • Darrell Yamashiro (Neuroblastoma, Renal Tumors)

Read about some of the highlights of our Children’s Oncology Group’s research here.